At the Museum of Modern Art

after Mark Rothko’s “Rust and Blue”

I watch a woman who smells
of Dior bare her hinged fist at a Rothko:
My grandson could paint better.

As she swings her hips toward Renoir,
I want to catch her handbag’s strap
and say, Look again.

Here, my chest peals with iron bells,
my sternum cracks like skinned lips in winter.

Here, my throat lifts like a dust mote
sleeved in morning light. I am the wide slope
of a meadow dotted with bluebells’ bent heads.

Here, the heels of my bones quake
like the last downstroke of a symphony:

I am horsehair tight in the bow.
I am the lone cello’s lowest note.

Emily Rose ColeEmily Rose Cole is a writer, folksinger, and MFA candidate in poetry at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Last spring she was honored to receive the Nancy D. Hargrove Editor’s Prize. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Gulf Stream, Weave Magazine, Jabberwock Review, Neon, and Word Riot, among others. Emily’s debut solo album, I Wanna Know, was released in May of 2012. She is currently working on a collection of persona poems that re-envision The Wizard of Oz.